Ronald Anthony Gervais, age 88, of Fenton, passed away on March 12, 2020, at Caretel Inns of Linden.
Ron was born November 9, 1931, in Dryburg, Michigan, the 11th of 14 children born to Raoul and Marie-Anne (Gadoury) Gervais. He was raised on his family’s 200+ acre farm in Dryburg and graduated from Rudyard High School in 1950. He then served in the US Navy from 1950 to 1954 and was stationed in Japan during the Korean War. In 1955, he followed several of his brothers to Flint and worked at the Flint Chevy V-8 Engine Plant (retiring after 36 years). Ron married Frances Metz on November 29, 1958, in Lansing, Michigan. She preceded him in death in 1996.
Ron enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping in the UP. He also enjoyed photography and was the “chief photographer” for his yearly High School class reunions. After his retirement, he became an avid volunteer at For-Mar Nature Preserve in Burton, Michigan. He walked the trails, was their handyman, and built many birdhouses. He also demonstrated the fine art of tapping maple trees and boiling down the sap to make maple syrup in the “Sugar Shack” to countless school classes and scouting troops. For-Mar had recently dedicated a bench in his name (November 2019).
Ron is survived by 3 children, Annette (Garry) May of Monroe, Michigan, Anthony Gervais (Gary Hammock) of Seattle, Washington, and Mary (Randy) Gersten of Fort Gratiot, Michigan; grandchildren Andrew May of Monroe, Michigan and Kimberly May of Chicago, Illinois; brother Marcel Gervais of Sault Ste Marie, Michigan; sisters Beatrice McMahan of Snellville, Georgia, and Frances (Bob) Desrochers of Roseville, California; brother-in-law Bob Beacom of Clare, Michigan; and over 100 nieces and nephews.
Besides his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by his siblings Marie (Bill) Bourque, Albert, Roger (Tarcil), Donald, Martha (Charlie) Autore, Philip (Ann), Patrick (Edythe), Lucienne Beacom, Roland (Faye), Delores (Bill) James, sister-in-law Catherine Gervais, and brothers-in-law Richard DeMerse and Richard McMahan.
Ron will be interred at the Great Lakes Military Cemetery in Holly, Michigan. A memorial service at For-Mar will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to For-Mar Nature Preserve. Please make checks payable to Genesee County Parks and place Ron’s name / For-Mar on the memo line. For-Mar will establish a fund in his name for future use. The checks may be mailed directly to For-Mar Nature Preserve (2142 N Genesee Rd, Burton, Michigan 48509).
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